The Land of Pristine Beauty – Indonesia
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The Land of Pristine Beauty – Indonesia

By His Excellency Mr. Ahmad Rusdi, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Thailand

Spread across 17,000 Indonesian islands scattered between the Asian mainland and Australia, the archipelago has more than its share of natural wonders and curious wildlife. One of the world’s major emerging economies, Indonesia is highly diverse, with more than 300 local languages

Amidst uncertain global economic situation and other current challenges, the tourism industry is expected to become one of promising sectors to give significant contribution to Indonesia’s positive outlook this year. In light of this, the Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is developing a tourism development strategy by focusing on five super priority tourism destinations out of 10 (ten) priority tourism destinations (or called “10 new Bali”) namely Lake Toba, Borobudur Temple, Labuan Bajo, Mandalika and Likupang. This decision was made directly by the President Joko Widodo and it was followed by the instruction to complete all infrastructures projects in those areas by 2020.

FIVE SUPER PRIORITY TOURIST DESTINATIONS ARE READY TO WELCOME YOU!

Each and every tourist destination offers one-stop destination concept which will enable people not only to enjoy beautiful scenery or attractive cultural performances but also to experience the creativity of local artists in making our famous art form. As some of these destinations are located in the Special Economic Zone, the government sets these areas as MICE destinations in which international events take place such as major art festivals, musical performances, sport events and business gatherings. Get to know more about these Indonesian five super priority destinations, herewith a brief review of each destination.

LAKE TOBA

Located in Sumatera, Indonesian fourth largest island, Lake Toba is well-known as the largest and deepest lake (1.145 square kilometres) in South East Asia. It offers its nature and tranquillity, chilly weather, breathtaking landscape and Bataknese culture. Lake Toba is also the largest lake in the world formed by volcanic eruptions and is included in the Guinness World Records list. In the middle of Lake Toba, there is Samosir Island with its several villages and extraordinary natural attractions such as mountains and waterfalls. Samosir Island is also home of the Batak Tribe.

The best season to go to Lake Toba is in September until November. It is the period when you can get a blast partying with the locals at the Lake Toba Festival as well as an annual event that showcase local art, music, and sports. It includes exciting activities such as dragon boating competitions, art performances and fashion shows. The local government prepares 30 events consisted of seven international events, 10 national events, and 13 local/community events.

For transportation services, the government subsidized bus services (for domestic region), boat, and the construction of crossing piers in nine ports targeted for completion this year.

BOROBUDUR TEMPLE

As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Borobudur temple is manmade structures which are truly breathtaking in their majesty, size and construction. This temple is simply massive and become one of the main tourist attractions in Java and Indonesia. This temple is located at the high of Menoreh Hill and is surrounded by Mount Merapi, Mount Merbabu, Mount Sindoro and Mount Sumbing.

Borobudur temple was built during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty (est. 760 and 830 AD) and the stupa-shaped temple was founded by Mahayana Buddhists. The building process is estimated between 75 to 100 years. The Borobudur temple was 100% completed during the reign of King Samaratungga in 825 AD.

Borobudur temple building is divided into 10 levels in the form of stepped terraces. The 10 levels of the Borobudur temple building symbolize the stages and processes of human life.

It has six square-shaped terraces, on top of which are three circular courtyards. Its walls are adorned with 2,672 relief panels and originally there were 504 Buddha statues. The largest main stupa lies in the centre and crowns this building, surrounded by three circular lines of 72 hollow stupas where a Buddha statue sits cross-legged in a perfect lotus position with a mudra (hand attitude) of Dharmachakra which means turning the dharma wheel. At every level, beautiful reliefs are carved which implicitly illustrates the teachings of Buddhism, which at that time became the religion of the community.

Besides being the highest symbol of Buddhism, the Mandala-shaped Borobudur is a replica of the universe. That symbolizes the micro-cosmos, which is divided into 3 levels. The first level is the human world where desire is influenced by negative impulses. The second level, where humans have been able to control their negative impulses and use their positive impulses. And at the highest level, where the human world is no longer limited by material things and desires.

The top floor of the Borobudur Temple is a very comfortable place to calm and freshen up, and to rest for a while after a trip around the Borobudur Temple from the first floor. Because, not only stupas, natural scenery around this level is also breathtaking.

LABUAN BAJO

Labuan Bajo is well-known as home of Komodo Island presenting extraordinary natural attractions, attractive natural landscapes and special coastlines. Labuan Bajo is used as an entry point if you visit Komodo Island and located on the western tip of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara region.

To see Komodo Dragon, you can visit Loh Liang National Park on Rinca Island. A ranger will guide you during the visit and you can easily see them close-up, from 2-3 meters away. Labuan Bajo is also ready to intrigue you with a variety of traditional and cultural tours that are full of history. One of them is Todo Village in West Manggarai.

in Todo Village you can see the uniqueness of Rumah Niang or Mbaru Niang. It has a cone-shaped roof. This traditional Todo house attracted the world’s attention when it was named as one of the candidates for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture from UNESCO. You can also visit Kanawa Island which is a habitat for coral reefs of various colours and small fish, where you can enjoy many natural marina biotas. Nowadays Labuan Bajo is prepared by the government to become a super-premium tourist destination. This year the development of runway and terminal will start.

MANDALIKA

From the charm of the beach to the stunning underwater scenery, including hosting the grand MotoGP international motor racing championship event in 2021, Mandalika Lombok offers an unforgettable holiday experience for anyone who visits.

This tourist area is adjacent to several beautiful beaches in the south of the island of Lombok. In an untouched natural atmosphere, this region is so rich in the beauty of the vast expanse of coastline, complete with soft white sand. Starting from Kuta Mandalika Beach, Seger Beach, Serenting Beach, Putri Nyale, Tanjung Aan Beach, to Gerupuk Beach, all are ready to pamper you and your family.

For those of you who like to surf, Gerupuk Beach with sizable waves can be an option and Tanjung Aan Beach also Seger Beach which became a hidden paradise for foreign surfers. In addition to the stunning stretch of beach, not far from the center of the Mandalika area, there are Sade and Adde Ende Villages, representing a typical lifestyle of the Sasak people. There, you can get to know more about the diversity of the way of life of the original settlers of Lombok Island.

Mandalika is also known for the Bau Nyale Festival, an exciting local event that is held regularly on certain days and tourists can also join the festival. At the festival, locals from various other regions in Lombok will gather in certain lands and hunt for earthworms. According to local folklore, the worm that has been around for hundreds of years is considered sacred and brings happiness

LIKUPANG

Located in Northern Sulawesi, Likupang beach offers its authenticity. A green sea turtle can be seen under the water and its area is a favourite place to dive and snorkel.

Likupang has 4 (four) beautiful and enchanting destinations:

  1. Lihaga Island: This Island is located in Likupang District, North Minahasa and its beach has a stretch of fine white sand, which contrasts with the blue ocean. No need to go far, diving or snorkeling near the beach alone, we can see beautiful fish swimming freely.
  2. Pulisan Beach: This beach has three parts separated by rock cliffs jutting into the sea. The most favorite area in Pulisan is the cave near the beach.
  3. Pulisan Hill: Pulisan Hill shows an expanse of grassland with beautiful sea views from the top and this is one of the best spots to enjoy the area of Pulisan Beach and Pulisan Hill.
  4. Gangga Island: Gangga Island is a small island adjacent to Lihaga Island, a diving destination to enjoy marine life and exotic coral reefs under the sea.

Each of destinations has its own unique culture, enchanting view, distinctive and mouth-watering food and delicacies. Improved connectivity has enabled access to those destinations. One can easily visit Labuan Bajo from Jakarta or Bali, and also to other destinations.

The acceleration of infrastructure projects targeted to be completed this year will ensure further your comfortable stay in Indonesia. In short, whatever adventure one seeks for, one can always find a destination in Indonesia that will suit their passion.